Pilot Officer William George Francis Hawkins, missing since 26 March 1942

Grave 1.3 on Harlingen Cemetery, Flight Sergeant Popplestone (RCAF) was the pilot of Blenheim Z7307 (Fries Archief Hann 2070)
Grave 1.3 on Harlingen Cemetery, Flight Sergeant Popplestone (RCAF) was the pilot of Blenheim Z7307 (Fries Archief Hann 2070)

Story

Blenheim Z7307 of 114 Squadron Royal Air Force, was shot down on 26 March 1942 by a German Night Fighter, it came down in the Waddenzee north of Wieringen.


Story

According to documents it seems that all three crew members washed up on the Dutch coast with 3 months after the crash.

 

On 08-05-1942 the body Pilot Officer W.G.F Hawkins  (Observer)washed up at the Breezanddijk, pole 16.3 (Afsluitdijk) and was buried the next day 09-05-1942 at Harlingen Cemetery, Grave E.1.2

On 19-05-1942 the body of Flight Sergeant W.M. Popplestone (Pilot) washed up at Westerzeedijk at Harlingen and was buried the next day 20-05-1942 at Harlingen Cemetery, Grave E.1.3

 

On 20-06-1942 the body of Pilot Officer C.E. White (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) washed up at sand bank Griend and was buried the next day 21-06-1942 at Harlingen Cemetery, Grave E.1.5

 

This also seemed to be confirmed after war by the 90 Grave Concentration Unit, who named this on all the three crosses.

 

Again it is not known where and how the body of Pilot Officer Hawkins was identified, in the German report (Verlustmeldung Nr.46, about Grave E.1.2 it says unbekannt (unknown). One should think that if there were any form of identification was found on the body it would have been mentioned  by them.

 

It is not known who found the body, maybe this information came from a Dutch source who found the body?

 

It is also unknown as why the 90GCU marked the cross with his name and later it was decided to bury this Airman as unknown.

 

There is also no record file of the RCAF pilot William M Popplestone who could have been checked for any information about the graves.


Dutch Archive (Harlingen)

Records from the Harlingen archives